Lions force OT, fall to LSU in Florida
DESTIN, Fla. (AP) — Tari Eason went 7 of 8 from the free-throw line after regulation and finished with 20 points, Xavier Pinson scored all of his 15 points after halftime and LSU beat Penn State 68-63 in overtime on Friday night to advance to the championship game of the Emerald Coast Classic.
LSU (6-0) plays the winner between Oregon State and Wake Forest in the title game Saturday. Penn State (3-2) plays the loser in a consolation game.
Eason made four free throw and Pinson made a jumper in the lane as LSU scored the first six points of overtime and led the rest of the way. Seth Lundy answered with a 3-pointer and Sam Sessoms made a layup to pull the Nittany Lions within a point at 64-63 with 2 minutes to play but they went 0 for 3 from the field with two turnovers from there.
Jalen Pickett had 14 points and eight rebounds and Sessoms scored 13 points with 10 rebounds for Penn State.
Sessoms made a layup and, after a steal by Myles Dread, hit a 3-pointer to pull Penn State even at 54-all with 2 minutes left in regulation. Eason made 1 of 2 free throws to put the Tigers back in front, Sessoms scored on a driving layup and Pinson took a jab step to create space and rose up to hit a 3-pointer to give LSU a 58-56 lead with 35 seconds to go.
The teams traded turnovers before Dread — either unaware of how much time he had or trying to draw a foul — threw up an air ball as he fell to the ground with about 4 seconds left in the second half. Jalen Pickett’s tip-in attempt hung on the side of the rim before falling off into the hands of Lundy for the putback just before the buzzer to force overtime.
Dread finished with 11 points and Lundy scored eight on 3-of-16 shooting, 1 of 11 from 3-point range. Lundy went into the game averaging 17.8 points per game and shooting 57% (12 of 21) from behind the arc.